Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let the drama continue

Last weekend, an article in a local paper was published about a daycare teacher who said her firing from a daycare center was a retaliation firing. She reported the daycare for a staffing violation. When the violation resulted in a citation, she was fired the next week. That was M's daycare, that was her teacher. Here is more of our story about it.

Back in December, the lead teacher in M's class quit on short notice. We worried a little, but nothing seemed too terribly off. (I've since learned that because of a very long commute, and a car accident she was in, she took a job closer to home and needed to take it right away) M was slated to move up rooms in March, to older toddlers. In late January, the asked if we would be OK with her moving up early. She was very ready, and the kids in line before her were not ready yet. She had gone from a little behind for her age group, to very ahead. Extremely verbal, and starting to get bored in the young toddler room.

The move to the new room seemed OK, but M did get bit/scratched/pinched more. The issues were thought to be just the transition. She was also back in a class with some of the more aggressive kids. In the new room, the lead teacher didn't seem to communicate as well. She seemed distracted. We now know that was in the middle of the drama. I noticed a change before the alleged incident however, back in December. While she wasn't in M's room, she was one of the teachers we dropped off with, and she had started talking to me less.

There was also the issue of M's diet and medication. M was fed things she shouldn't be, but we weren't told, we had to read it on the cards. They claimed to have known it was wrong right after they did it, but they didn't do a good job of communicating to us. I wasn't liking it very much, but I was giving it time to work itself out. Transitions can be hard on everyone. Then they forgot to give M her nebulizer the first day we brought it in. Despite being given detailed instructions by me, both verbally and in writing through the director. We were starting to be concerned.

When she was fired, we asked questions, and were given as many answers as they could. I asked if it was because of the medication incident. She said it was not that specific incident, but that was an issue that contributed. It was a good diplomatic answer, what I expected from professional people. New staff was hired, but there has been transition time.

Since the teacher left, the other teachers in M's room talk to us more. The attitude has gotten brighter and more fun. It really felt like progress was being made, and it was all for the better.

Things finally felt like they were settling. Then the article happened. The article created a huge uproar in the comments. Fighting between people who claimed to be current and former employees, accusations about the director. The usual crazy blog type comments as well, blame the mothers for working, etc. There were also attacks on us as the parents, for not realizing. It was very emotional. It conflicted significantly with what we had experienced at the center. Other than the teacher from December (which I since cleared up), we never had any reason to believe anything was up.

It has been hard on everyone. People have gotten very serious threats. The teacher who was fired seems to be out to take down the center, and the kids and parents with it. The kids she claimed to care about so much are the ones who are suffering. I can't imagine what she thought she was going to accomplish by doing this. I really can't. Her getting unemployment while a small win for her, I do not think was justified. I do not see how you can be a lead teacher for that long and claim to not know about your responsibility for ratios. She should have come to us if there was an issue as well. We, the parents, can talk with our checkbooks. Many parents with children at the center have had three or more kids go through. The retention rate for staff is very high. These are not things that you see at a center that has the kind of issues that they were accused of. It hurt, all of it.

More tomorrow on my thoughts about old media trying to do new media.

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